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Public Transport to Kisoro and Bwindi National Park from Kampala

Jaguar Parking Lot, Kampala
Jaguar Executive Coaches Bus Park, Kampala. Photo Courtesy of Jaguar Bus Company

The standard form of public transport to Kisoro district and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and Bwindi National Park from Kampala city is by road. Daily public buses run from Kampala city to Kisoro district and back. The drive time between Kampala and Kisoro town takes between 8 and 9 hours. Luckily enough, the highway between Kisoro and Kampala is all paved (though narrow), making the commute somewhat faster. A drive from Kampala to Kisoro traverses major cities and towns of southwestern Uganda, including Masaka, Mbarara, Ntungamo, and Kabale.

A one-way public bus ticket from Kampala to Kisoro town usually costs between USD10-30. Note that some long-distance buses travel at night, and other coaches still have scheduled departures during the day. It is advisable to book the bus ticket a day before the scheduled departure or at least on the morning of the departure date. While there are quite many buses on the Kampala-Kisoro route, getting a spot on the bus can get tricky with a late booking.

The following are some of the bus companies that operate the Kisoro-Kampala route. Buses with business class seats.

  1. The Modern Coast. Modern Coast bus is a dynamic Kenyan company with a franchise in Uganda. The buses frequently transport people traveling between Kampala and Goma/DR Congo.
  2. Jaguar Bus Company. The Jaguar booking office in Kampala is located along Namirembe road, close to the Mengo City Oil branch. If not driving, the best way to access the Jaguar booking office is by taking a Boda Boda.

Other Buses operating on the Kampala-Kisoro route

  1. Horizon coaches. Horizon is one of the oldest bus companies in Uganda. Daily buses are running from Kampala through Mbarara and Kabale towns daily.
  2. Bismarkan coaches. Bismarkan is a reliable bus company when traveling to Kisoro from Kampala. Biskmarkan buses park in the central bus park in the Kisenyi neighborhood in Kampala.
  3. Trinity Bus. Trinity buses run the Kampala-Kigali route but pass through Kisoro and Kabale towns on the way to Rwanda.
  4. Post-Bus. As the name sounds, Post Bus is run by Posta Uganda, a government parastatal in charge of shipping mails across the country.

Kisoro has an airstrip that services daily flights from Entebbe international airport. Guests traveling to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for gorilla tracking often take advantage of Entebbe’s one-hour flight to Kisoro. From Kisoro airport, you can quickly transfer to your lodge at Bwindi National Park. Aerolink Uganda Limited organizes domestic flights between Entebbe airport and Kisoro town.

How about traveling from Kigali to Kisoro town or Bwindi National Park?

Connecting from Kigali, Rwanda, to Kisoro is considerably faster than commuting from Kampala. It takes less than 5 hours to drive from Kigali/Rwanda to Kisoro/Uganda through the Cyanika (Kyanika) border crossing. There are public buses that run from Kigali to Musanze in northern Rwanda. From Musanze, one has to board a matatu/taxi to the Cyanika border. Many tour companies based in Rwanda offer trips to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Kisoro.

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